Empowering Creatives Through AI

Take a couple of minutes to watch the video below. This is the outcome of an experiment aimed at pushing the boundaries of creative use cases for Artificial Intelligence (AI), performed by space150. The experiment was able to output a deep fake of Hip-Hop artist Travis Scott, utilizing AI to create the song in its entirety, including the melody, lyrics, and production elements.

Click play, keep scrolling, and let’s talk about it.

Source: Space150

Now, seeing the output of creative AI, it is clear that the impact that AI will have on the music industry cannot be overlooked. For too long, the industry has focused its efforts on the consumer-end of the supply chain, streaming services, and how AI can be used to impact the listeners’ experience (e.g Spotify’s recommendation system). However, with the exponential growth of machine learning techniques, and big tech companies focusing on creative AI, a deeper dive is required to investigate how this technology can impact the input of this supply chain, the creative.

“There’s a lot of fear surrounding artificial intelligence, but much like other technological advances, it’s just a huge creative platform.”

Ned Lambert

The Translation

In 2020, if you are yet to hear the term AI, you’re probably living under a rock. And if you have, chances are you still don’t fully understand it. In this section, the aim is to demystify the meaning of AI, showing how this buzzword can assist with empowering the creative.

IBM defines artificial intelligence as the ability of machines to perform tasks usually associated with human beings. It includes concepts such as machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, natural language processing, and visual recognition. AI uses supervised learning, unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning, and deep learning to train models with data.

The Use Case

As the power in the industry slowly shifts from the big traditional record companies to the hands of the creator, the need to empower the creator through knowledge has never been this evident. Shori utilizes natural language processing techniques to bridge the knowledge gap for the creator. In an industry where profit is made through misinformation, providing knowledge to the creator will exponentially increase the shift towards placing the creator in the driver’s seat.

Royalties: What They Are & How To Collect Them

Congratulations! You’ve made the first step towards true artistic independence – understanding your cash flow. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the different royalty types and the steps that you will need to take to collect them after you have written/produced your hit song!

What are royalties?

Royalties are payments that go to publishers, recording artists, songwriters, producers and any owners of a copyright in exchange for the right to use the intellectual property (IP). There are two main types of royalties, these include: Performance Royalties and Mechanical Royalties. [1]

Performance Royalties

These are royalties paid to the copyright owner (songwriter, producer, artist, etc) whenever music is played publicly. Performance royalties cover music played in a restaurant, bar, over the radio and on streaming services! [2]

Mechanical Royalties

Mechanical royalties are paid to copyright holders when music is licensed (think tangible products like CD or Vinyl) as well as when music is streamed on-demand.

Collecting your mula!

Okay, first thing first, sign up with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO). Here’s a list (not all at all!) of some the PROs around the world:

  • ASCAP (USA)
  • BMI (USA)
  • SESAC (USA)
  • SOCAN (Canada)
  • PRS (UK)
  • COSCAP (Barbados)

Now, you’re ready to collect your performance royalties! It’s as easy as that. Collecting your mechanical royalties is a bit trickier – as they’re typically paid directly to the publisher. However, registering your songs with the Harry Fox Agency will get you paid!

Hope this quick article helped in knowing what are the first steps you should take regarding collecting your royalties as a musician!

Sources

[1] Music Royalties Guide

[2]What Are Performance Royalties? (And How They’re Different From Mechanical Royalties)

Songwriting: Lessons From The GOATs

First of all shout out to all of the songwriters out there! If you’re here you probably were intrigued by the clickbait title. Don’t worry, we’re here with the facts and the facts alone! Here are some lessons from the best songwriters to grace this planet.

Poo Bear

Known as one of the greatest songwriters in the world, Poo Bear has penned hits for artists such as Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Usher and J Balvin to name a few. I think that we can all learn something from him. His biggest piece of advice is “it’s all about the concept”. If you have a great concept, you’re 50% on the way to having a great song. Some other tips that Poo Bear has shared in his interviews are keep it simple but effective – that’s the key!

Ester Dean

With so many number 1 hits they call her “The Song Factory”, Ester Dean has written for the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry and Beyonce to name a select few. Ester’s advice is “don’t write what’s on the radio, write what you want to be on the radio!”

Diane Warren

Diane Warren is the official queen of ballads, writing notable hits such as Toni Braxton’s “Un-break My Heart” and Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”, Diane encourages new songwriters to reverse engineer hit songs “find out what makes them hits!”, not to be afraid of the unknown and to work on your craft… everyday!

Rod Temperton

Have you heard Michael Jackson’s Thriller? This is the guy that blessed us with that masterpiece. Rod Temperton’s motto was “don’t overcomplicate it – write what you know!”. This seems to be a common trait among the best of the best.